I know it’s a bit early but I was thinking about Mother’s Day today. Specifically, I was thinking about the differences between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Have you ever noticed how men plan their big day? They golf, fish, hunt, bowl, etc. and they prefer to do any or all of the above with a beer in hand. They view Father’s Day as the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in their favorite activity, which, coincidentally, does not include any family member tagging along.
And then there’s Mother’s Day. This day typically involves the entire family taking Mom to brunch or dinner, or if she’s really lucky, both. A woman’s big splurge is a day out of the kitchen. Why is it that men get the day off—really off—and we get eggs benedict?
I think the secret lies in biology. Our role was predefined when we were bestowed the gift of childbirth. In prehistoric times the cavewomen stayed back with the children gathering berries while the cavemen went out hunting deer and tried not to be eaten by a T-rex. Men were the protectors and providers. Women were stuck back at the cave watching little Johnny beat the crap out of his brother with a club while little Susie helped Mom crush berries and make stone soup. We took care of the kids, the home, and our caveman when he returned with dinner. That was our job.
Was there any "me-time" in there? I can’t imagine there was ever a cavewoman that said, “You know what. I’m going down to the mud pit for a facial and then to the hot spring for a good soak. Why don’t you watch the kids for an hour?”
If she did ask she was probably quickly slammed on the head with a club and our heroic caveman found himself another mate. Preferably one that was mute.
Thankfully we’re no longer cave people and we’ve progressed to indoor plumbing, grocery stores and other modern conveniences, but the desire to take care of everyone else and ignore ourselves is still there.
According to Randy Kamen Gredinger, EdD, a psychologist and life coach specializing in women's issues, "There's a tremendous amount of stress and pressure put on women: being parents, being daughters, mothers, wives, professionals. All of these roles combined leave many of us not taking adequate care of ourselves -- which is what sustains us and gives us the energy to take care of all these other responsibilities that we have.”
This lack of self-care has serious consequences.
Marianne Legato, a cardiologist and author of Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget, explains: "If you never have any time except reactive time -- things you must do for others -- you don't have a sense of control. You are interrupted all the time. Your brain has trouble resting even during sleep. Such chronic exhaustion increases the release of stress hormones, and your blood sugar rises."
If this is your normal state, then the physical consequences increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and memory problems. And the hormonal effects of always being on edge help deposit fat right around your waist.
Isn’t that special.
I say, it’s time for a little selfish behavior. It’s time we acted more like men and made time for ourselves…without feeling guilty! (That’s the hard part for me.)
Spring is right around the corner and with it brings a sense of renewal. Why not take some time to think about how you want to change your life. How do you want to incorporate some “me-time” into your day?
I took a huge step in this direction when I signed up for the In8 program. It was all about me. How I wanted to change my eating habits. How I wanted to incorporate more exercise into my life. How I wanted to try new techniques to manage my stress.
I found the structure of the program a great way to jumpstart my path to a new me.
The next In8 orientation session is March 13th at 6:30 pm at the Advanced Wellness Centre. It’s FREE. Why not take the opportunity to learn about the program and see if it’s right for you.
Make yourself a priority! You deserve that mud facial and a dip in the hot spring!